Avainsana: legal industry

17.Episode: Think Smaller with Michele DeStefano

Michele DeStefano.

“Start with you. And you start with you by actually becoming more self-aware, like Michael Jackson, “look at the man in the mirror”, or look at the woman in the mirror, or whoever is in the mirror, and figure out what you’re good at or what you’re not good at” says Michele DeStefano.

Just like everyone else, lawyers were born creative but somehow creativity is often lost with legal expertise. That’s how we might feel, but legal problem solving requires creativity and at the end of the day, lawyers are super creative. We are when it comes to strategy or problem solving. We just need to embrace our creativity and think what good it can bring to the legal industry. 

Along with creativity, the so-called “soft skills” or “people skills” are vital when making the law better. It is easy to think that some great ideas were just born magically overnight but we often forget that innovations require countless hours and very hard work to become reality. So not to worry if you haven’t succeeded with making your access to justice or virtual lawyer applications yet, you can do a lot to practice innovation and creativity skills. 

In this episode Henna and Nina talk to Michele DeStefano who believes that when lawyers figure out how to bring their childhood’s box of crayons back into their work, the world really opens up. Michele is known as an innovative person who has changed the legal industry emphasizing empathy and human-centrism by bringing out great ideas and projects that challenge the traditional ways of working. Tune in to listen to what motivates Michele to drive the change in the legal industry!

Michele DeStefano is recognized by the ABA as a Legal Rebel and by the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers (North America) as one of the top 20 most innovative lawyers. Michele D is a Professor of Law at the University of Miami and a Faculty Chair in Harvard Law School’s Executive Education Program and at IE School of Law. She is the founder of LawWithoutWalls, a part-virtual experiential learning community of more than 2,000 lawyers, business professionals, entrepreneurs, and students that leverages intergenerational, cross-culture, multi-disciplinary collaboration to create innovations in the business of law and, importantly, change the mindsets, skillsets, and behaviors of legal professionals. Recently, Michele helped co-create and spearhead the development of the Digital Legal Exchange, a non-profit designed to inspire general counsel and their teams to become digital leaders in their businesses to drive commercial value.

DeStefano researches, writes, and speaks about creative problem solving, collaboration, culture change, and innovation in law. Her latest books include Legal Upheaval: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in Law and New Suits: Appetite for Disruption.

3. Episode: DIY Legal Help with Erin Levine

Erin Levine

In this episode Henna and Nina talk about DIY Legal Help with Erin Levine, legal innovator and entrepreneur from California.

Erin shares the story behind her revolutionary online divorce platform Hello Divorce. The DIY platform helps people applying for divorce to navigate through the divorce process independently. Erin tells us who are the potential users for DIY legal help services and how technology has changed the way her team of lawyers work today. We also discuss what else should be changed in the legal industry by design. Why is it important to mitigate the negative image of legal problems, such as divorce? Do we also need a platform “Hello Bankruptcy”? And what is the one thing that almost all customers want from their legal services? Nina gets goosebumps by Erin’s inspiring mission to promote justice through tech, yet promises not to divorce her husband.

Erin Levine is a legal innovator, entrepreneur, and Certified Family Law Specialist. She is the CEO and Founder of Hello Divorce, an award winning online platform that helps self-represented folks navigate the divorce process on their own through a web platform, accessing legal help when they need additional help along the way.  As a young adult, she brought criminal and civil charges against a former gymnastics coach, and experienced the legal system as chaotic, confusing, and amplifying her trauma rather than bringing justice. She later became a divorce litigator. 

Despite her success as a law firm owner, she realized there must be a better way and pivoted into justice-technology. Erin works relentlessly to simplify family law, reduce trauma for those seeking relief from the court and help people get back on their feet. Her design centered and sustainable approach to the delivery of legal services has been recognized by the legal industry and beyond with recent accomplishments that include the American Bar Association‘s James I. Keane Memorial Award for Excellence in E-lawyering and Duke University School of Law’s Legal Tech Accelerator – Grand Prize. Erin’s current projects include raising her two daughters, Zoe and Mia, along with managing the national roll out of Hello Divorce’s products and services.